Farmers and crofters have until the end of this month to submit applications for the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme.
NFU Scotland (NFUS) is urging all eligible producers to apply before the December 31 deadline.
Union president Andrew McCornick, said: “The beef calf scheme is vital to Scotland’s beef sector, particularly given the higher costs of producing beef from the suckler herd.
“This year every penny available under this scheme for those producing suckled beef calves will be needed given the rise in prices for straw and other inputs and the challenging forage conditions driven by the rainfall shortage this summer.”
The scheme, designed to support specialist beef producers, has an annual budget of 38 million euros (£33.8m) for beef calves born on the Scottish mainland, and 6.6m euros (£5.8m) for those born on the Scottish islands.
Support is available to calves which are at least 75% beef bred, born on a Scottish holding, and kept here for 30 days.
This means animals born on or after December 2 this year will not be eligible for support until the next scheme year.
The NFUS said there is no limit to the number of claims that eligible farmers and crofters can make, and the scheme payment rate per animal will be determined by the total number of eligible animals claimed for.
The payment rates for last year’s scheme were £99.39 per mainland animal and £144.22 per island animal.
Mr McCornick added: “This coupled support payment helps maintain our iconic beef sector, which produces sustainable beef based on Scotland’s natural ability to grow grass.
“I would urge farmers and crofters to take advantage of this support,” he said.